To the Printers of the Massachusetts Gazette
TO THE PRINTERS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS GAZETTE.
Worcester, March 24, 1775.
Having seen, a publication
in the Massachusetts Gazette of the 9th instant, relative to my conduct in resigning my command as Colonel of a Regiment, &c˙, I think it not improper to give the publick the following true state of the matter, viz: I was some time ago chosen Lieutenant-Colonel of a Regiment, whereof Mr˙ Thomas Dennie, of Leicester, was chosen Colonel. If was not without some persuasion that I accepted of the office, being very diffident of my abilities to discharge the duties of it with that propriety and martial dignity that the importance of the occasion required. But putting great dependance upon the abilities of the Colonel, I was prevailed upon to accept of the office; but very unfortunately for me, (as well as for the publick,) that very worthy gentleman was soon after suddenly taken away by death. I was then chosen Colonel of the Regiment, and was at that time determined absolutely to have refused, but was over-persuaded to accept of the office. From that time I was much burdened with the thoughts of our publick affairs, and the part I had to act in them. At this time some persons, whom I now think enemies to American liberty, and not friends to me, discovered my uneasiness, and set themselves to work to increase it, by painting the horrours of civil war and rebellion in the most frightful colours, which they pretended I was plunging myself into; and unless I immediately renounced the cause I was engaged in, I was ruined and undone; and I being (as I now think) thoroughly infatuated by their delusions and insidious conduct, was led to say, that I thought the people were wrong in the opposition they were making against the Acts of Parliament, &c. And at the same time declared I would have nothing further to do in the matter as Colonel of the Regiment, &c. I have accordingly resigned my command, and made such satisfaction to Officers of the Regiment for my behaviour as they kindly accepted of. At which time they proceeded to the choice of a much better man than myself to take my place; and the Regiment now is well-officered, as far as I know, which gives me greater pleasure than I ever felt by being at the head of it. But before I conclude, I would just remark, that the publication of the 9th instant, first mentioned, in some respects, is not consistent with truth. First, the representation of my having been concerned in mobs and riots, or violent measures, is invidious, and a false calumny, for which I appeal to all that know my general conduct, both Whigs and Tones. And secondly, to represent me as converted, when in truth and reality
I was perverted, was a misrepresentation I would have mended by your inserting an erratum, to read in the said publication perverting, instead of converting, which will make the passage much more agreeable to truth; this, with an amendment of the spelling of one of the names,
make the latter part of the said publication tolerable enough. However wrong I have been in any part of my conduct or words, it is now my real opinion, that the people' s cause is good, and that the measures that they are taking and carrying into execution, are the best and most likely means for obtaining the redress of our grievances. And if a redress cannot be had without our making the last appeal, I stand ready and heartily willing to be one of the appellants, to prosecute the appeal to final judgment, while I have estate or life left. The beforegoing I am induced to publish, that the cause of liberty may not suffer by my means; and I have done it of my own free will and accord, and do assure the publick I have not been constrained to do it by force, or the threats of any man, or body of men, but have been extremely well and kindly treated by all men that I have had any concern with since resigning my office; and now enjoy the esteem and friendship of my neighbours, and the true Whigs, which I esteem as one of the greatest blessings in this life, and to deserve the same shall ever be the endeavour of T˙ WHEELER.